Janice Chiang is a legendary comics letterer and along with moderator Justin Otero she took to San Diego Comic-Con 2023 to share a bit about her career, coming up in Comics as not only a woman but an Asian woman in a very male dominated industry.

Beginning as a hand letterer at Marvel in the 80s, Janice later made the successful transition to digital lettering with many award-winning projects to her credit including Black Panther, The Transformers, ThunderCats, Alpha Flight, Buffy and the Vampire, Red Sonja, Master of Kung Fu, Barbie, Indiana Jones, Moon Knight, Doom Patrol, and Superman Smashes The Klan, just to name a few.

Over a four-decade-long career, she has experienced and witnessed the many changes in the comic industry — some good, and some not so good.


One positive trend she’s seen is diversity that has been emerging not just for the people like her who blazed the trail for minorities to break into the business but also the representation on the actual pages with characters from wide-ranging backgrounds, ethnicities, gender expressions and more.

However, one thing that the advent of digital lettering has done is she finds an appalling trend of going for quick-and-easy jobs rather than really working with the artwork to find the best layouts, arrangements, and placements for copy. Color theory and really extending the artwork with the expression of copy is a vital piece to doing this job well.

The most crucial key to success that she stressed over and again is that regardless of your background, persistance and professionalism will take you far. A good amount of talent helps but maintaining a professional working relationship is one key that she finds has helped propel her over the years. Meet and honor deadlines, keep your promises, and be a reliable anchor point no matter how small the assignment.


See it for Yourself

San Diego Comic-Con took place July 19 – July 23, 2023.

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